Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Launching Ceremony of Box Illusions by Haze Long
7 April 2017, 12 pm
Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La
Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to the launch of Box Illusions by Haze Long – a unique art exhibition hosted by Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La and the first in Penang.
I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the multi-talented Haze Long for choosing Penang for her first solo art exhibition and for introducing speed painting to Penangites.
Penang's lifestyle is world famous for two things: as a food heaven, and for its vibrant art and cultural scene.
Penang provides an exciting and unique platform for the arts, heritage, culture and businesses. In all likelihood, we will help sustain and enhance the art-related industries of Penang.
The George Town Heritage Enclave is a unique enclave with one of the highest concentrations of historical buildings in South East-Asia.
Penang, as one of the most liveable cities in Asia, has graffiti from around the world, hand-painted by world-acclaimed artists, such as Ernest Zacharevic from Lithuania and Julia Volchkova from Russia.
Just along Magazine Road itself, we have two huge murals to be proud of. The 100-metre colourful façade,the trademark of Hotel Jen Penang, was painted by international artist JM Y.E.S. This abstract piece is one the longest wall mural art in Penang.
Next, we have the biggest street mural in Penang just next door at 1stAvenue Mall, with a 15.24metre high and 7.62metre wide, impressive art piece by Canadian street artist Emmanuel Jarus.
Upcoming, we will have five Malaysian artists set to make their way into the Guinness Book of Records for painting the world’s tallest mural on our very own KOMTAR Tower. When the mural is completed, it will be 230metres tall and 13.1metres wide.
Penang – a state of festivities
Penang is exotic and unique in our own special way due to our multi-racial communities with a myriad of flavours and cultures. We have memorable and spectacular festivals all year round in Penang. Home-grown art festivals that managed to attract travellers from around the world – the month-long George Town Festival, George Town Literary Festival, In-between Arts Festival and the Penang Island Jazz Festival.
Throughout the year, we have LFSS programme (Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and the Project Occupy Beach Street dedicated to arts, cultural and heritage.
We see arts and culture as an economic game changer that can help to promote Penang as an international and intelligent city as well as drive economic development. To reinforce Penang as an hub for arts and culture, the Penang state government has decided to invest RM30 million to build a Penang Arts District (PAD) in the George Town city centre. The PAD will make Penang to be the largest container city in the world devoted solely for arts and culture.
As an initiative to catalyse the economic impact of the creative industry in Penang, the Penang State Government has envisioned the Penang Arts District to be the creative hub of Penang’s contemporary arts and culture scene.
The Penang Arts District will also drive the revitalisation, catalysing urban renewal in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage zone, creating more employment opportunities for Penangites and greater value-added services.
In conclusion, I would like to applaud the partnership between Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La and Haze Long. I have no doubt that this exhibition will be one of the high points in Penang and will enhance the already considerable appreciation of arts and culture in this city.
Thank you Hotel Jen Penang by Shangri-La for your continuous dedication and efforts to boost the arts industry in Penang.